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M.A.T. — Monsters Against Torture



The big news is the Whistler Village 8 has been sold, and it seems the new owners will continue to operate the movie screens, so that is a relief. (See story page 62.) They've yet to update the old Village 8 website, but what is playing this week can be found here: www.cinemaclock.com/bri/whistler/theatres/village-8-whistler. And Pique, too, is carrying an ad in this issue.

In any case it's Halloween weekend so let's talk horror. Specifically, let's talk monsters. American cinema is rebounding from a dozen years of torture porn (what does that say about our collective mental state?) by pumping out some of the most ill-concieved, low-budget (but still awesome) monster movies of all time: Sharknado, Air Predators, and Dinocroc vs. Supergator.

Those flicks are fun but mostly stupid. However, they do give us an excuse to look back at monster flicks of years past. When humanity's trouble came from without, not within, and to win the day all you had to do was blow up some kind of evil entity and go wash the slime off your face. Those were the days...

So this Halloween let's get a big-ass bowl of candy and devour some time together with the greatest horror-movie monsters ever.

5. Vampires

These suckers have lost a bit of their bite lately thanks to Twilight, but make no mistake: Vampires are badass and their ability to blend in among us adds a whole new level of creep to their game. They're smart because they've been around forever and they kill for sustenance, not sport. And they're tricky to get rid of because in this day and age, where even my kitchen knives are made of some kind of hard plastic, who really keeps a sharpened wooden stake around? Best films: The Lost Boys (coolest ever); Near Dark (1987 trailer trash vampire road trip by Katheryn Bigelow); and Interview with a Vampire (if your date hates scary movies. Brad Pitt will sell it).

4. Werewolves

Easily avoided (stay home on the full moon), werewolves are still pretty freaky because they represent the beast that resides in all of us. Also freaky, because they don't give an eff — werewolves kill without reason and silver bullets are even harder to find than wooden stakes. And wolfsbane? What is that? Does it grow on the Cheakamus Lake trail? Werewolf movies are all about the transformation from human to werewolf, and if a flick does it off camera or with CGI that is cheating because the bar has been set pretty high by effects master Rick Baker. He did 1981's American Werewolf in London, the 2010 Wolfman remake and Wolf (starring Jack Nicholson as a werewolf!). Noteable mentions go to Ginger Snaps (Canadian girls in the classic lycanthropy-as-menstruation story), Frankenstein meets Wolfman (1943!!) and, probably best of all, The Howling.

3. The Brundlefly

The 1987 The Fly (a remake of the 1958 version) makes the list because: It's written and directed by Canadian horror master David Cronenberg, it stars Jeff Goldblum and a hot Geena Davis in a science-gone-wrong plot that is probably only a decade away from our current reality, and because the disgustingly awesome brundlefly pukes on his food before he eats it. Pumkinhead is almost as ugly and John Carpenter's The Thing is way scarier but I'm giving it to The Fly.

2. Zombies

Zombies always rule because they literally are us, especially these days with everyone staring at their phones all the time. That means when the shit goes down we are going to have to kill our friends and neighbours in order to survive. Moral terror! It also means zombie movies can quite easily carry socio-political subthemes that will make you think (after you double check the windows and doors are locked). The other awesome thing about zombies is that their cinematic dynasty can really be traced to one dude, George Romero and 1968's Night of the Living Dead. It's also worth checking out Dawn of the Dead (1978), 28 Days Later, and Peter Jackson's splatter masterpiece, Dead Alive. After that you can get weird with the Italian stuff like Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 (a.k.a. Zombie). A zombie fights a shark in that one.

1. Monsters

Speaking of, Jaws is the most effective movie monster of all time and Alien is up there too, but pound for cinematic pound you have to give this one to Godzilla, star of 28 monster films from Japan and two shitty ones from the U.S. Essentially a cross between a gorilla and a whale (gorira + kujira = Gojira) Godzilla is more than a beast from the depths who kicks the living crap out of any city (or Mothra) that gets in his way. He's also a reminder not to mess with powers beyond our control. So think about that this weekend when you inhale your 600th pack of Smarties and end up excreting some kind of gelatinous blob.

Happy Halloween!


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